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what's a padded bra

It’s no secret that padded bras are ultra popular. For decades, women have donned them to make their boobs look a certain way. After all, padding can give breasts a smoother appearance, and even sculpt them into a more rounded shape. And of course, padding is known to be a favorite feature among small-breasted women looking to amp up their cleavage. But do padded bras actually make your boobs look bigger? Or is that a myth?

In this handy guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about this common question.

What is a padded bra?

True to the name, this type of bra features padding inside the cups. Some have padding sewn into the cups, while others include removable padding that is placed inside slits within the cups. Bras with removable padding are a tad more versatile as they can be customized to your needs. For example, these bras can be helpful for women with asymmetrical breasts, as they can help to achieve a more uniform, proportional look. Additionally, some padded bras have even padding throughout the cups, while others feature graduated padding that varies in thickness. The padding is intended to enhance the appearance of your bust — it can certainly make your boobs look smoother, and more even in size. Some padded bras can also add fullness (more on that later).


Related: Unlined Bra vs Padded Bra: What’s The Difference Between An Unlined Bra and A Padded Bra?


what does padded bra mean

Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Bronze

Will a padded bra make my breasts look larger?

One of the most common misconceptions about padded bras is that they all add a significant amount of volume to your bust line. This is because many people mix up padded bras and push-up bras — while basically all push-up bras are padded, not all padded bras have a push-up design. So let’s clear up the difference between the two.

A push-up bra is specifically designed to lift the breasts, gathering the breast tissue inward and upward for more dramatic cleavage. As a result, many push-up bras may make your bust look fuller. For example, some push-up bras feature graduated padding — the padding is much thicker at the bottom of the cups, which makes the breast tissue sit farther up on the chest, making your bust look more voluminous overall. On the other hand, padded bras are not intended to make your breasts look bigger. While certain styles may indeed have this effect, padded bras are more designed to give your breasts an even, smooth look.

The bottom line is this: A padded bra will not necessarily make your boobs look bigger. While there are styles that may have more dramatic padding, this type of bra is more aimed at sculpting, smoothing, and supporting the breasts. That’s why padded bras, such as T-shirt bras, are such a popular choice for wearing under thin or clingy knit apparel. So, which is right for you? If you’re seeking to amp up your cleavage or make your bust look fuller, a push-up bra is the perfect pick. On the other hand, if you just want to compensate for any unevenness in the size of your breasts, or want a smooth appearance under a form-fitting T-shirt, tank, or dress, a padded bra will do the trick.


Related: The Girl’s Guide To Bra Styles


does padded bra reduce breast size

Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Bronze

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!


Featured lingerie:
Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Bronze

Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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